GOING FREELANCE IN THE NEW NORMAL
Being our own boss is something that a lot of people aspire to, and the current situation with Covid-19 is putting that aspiration into a new perspective.
Working from home.
Over the past few weeks, because of the unprecedented challenge of coronavirus and strict guidelines on social distancing, most of us who can have been working from home, a work option that is safer for all of us and our families. Working from home has been, for many companies and their employees, a new way of working. It’s also made many people think that, once the virus has been defeated, maybe they could go on working from home – or to work for themselves. Remote working was already becoming the new way to work, even before Covid-19 forced homeworking to the top of the corporate agenda.
Figures from Eurostat, reported in the European Business Magazine last year, suggest that some 10% of employed people in the EU were usually working from home. Before the UK’s departure from the EU earlier this year, that equated to some 25 million people. The magazine concluded, long before coronavirus reared its ugly head, that “the trend of remote working is one that will dramatically shape European society over the next decade.” For employees, it’s not hard to see the attraction. In the UK, for example, the average daily commute takes some 58.4 minutes.
The commute to work Vs working remotely.
In 2007, the figure was 53.6 minutes, so commutes are becoming slower and longer. London has the longest journey time at one hour and 21 minutes. The same is true across Europe, with new technology giving more of us the capability to work from home without diminishing productivity or quality of output. But, leaving aside remote working, those new technologies are also fuelling a rise in freelance working. After all, why work from home for someone else, tied to set hours and a set wage structure, when you could set yourself free from all the corporate hassle? There are now well over 2 million freelancers in the UK, with some 20% of those in the creative industries – everything from design to creative writing.
Working freelance gives people greater control over their lives, balances work with life outside work and, let’s face it, if you have a problem with your boss, you only have to talk to yourself. It’s also a way of working that Covid-19 can only accelerate. As we emerge from lockdown, companies will inevitably downsize as they struggle to find a new normal. That gives freelancers a unique opportunity to flexibly and cost-effectively fill the void left behind by salaried employees.
It’s therefore a good time to look at your own career options, and what the future might hold for you.We’re not advocating freelance working as an option for everyone. Many people like the security of a monthly salary and the camaraderie of the water cooler. But, for anyone thinking of making that freelance step, there is the issue of training and the acquisition of new skills.
How do you develop new skills?
That’s where the Creative Design School comes in because we have a range of courses designed to turbo-boost careers, or give creative people the confidence and skills to set up for themselves. Our courses all offer one-to-one tutor support, with a range of qualifications to suit you. None of us yet knows what the new normal will look like although one thing is for certain: it will look nothing like the old normal. So why not have a look at the range of courses that the Creative Design School offers and how a new you, with new skills and a creative qualification, could take advantage of the brave new world just over the horizon.
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